This year’s lineup for the 26th Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival (GFF) is the most promising so far, showcasing a wide and diverse selection of works from Greek filmmakers.
The festival will present 15 feature films, an Australian short film as well as three critically-acclaimed documentaries launching this Tuesday, 8 October in Sydney before heading to Melbourne (9 October), Adelaide (10 October), Brisbane (15 October), Perth (20 October) and Canberra (29 October)
For its opening night, the GFF has chosen Tassos Boulmetis’ (internationally known for A Touch of Spice) ‘1968’. The film is a sports docudrama starring famous Greek actor Ieroklis Michaelidis. The film revolves around the legendary victory of the then emergent Greek basketball team AEK in the European Cup against the hyped Czechoslovakian team. The landmark event which was in fact Greece’s first ever win in history, took place on April 4, 1968 with attendance records reaching over 100,000 spectators at the Panathenaic Stadium.
Meanwhile, closing the festival is Alkinos Tsilimidos’ popular black comedy, ‘The Taverna’. The movie is set in Melbourne chronicling a chaotic night in which an impromptu belly dance at a Greek restaurant leads to a series of unexpected and hilarious mishaps.
The GFF team also has two special events planned; both bound to excite cinephiles.
As of this year Cypriot Evenings are a thing! A dedicated celebration of Cypriot cinema, the much-anticipated nigh kicks off on 13 October in Sydney and arrives in Melbourne on 15 October.
‘Pause’, director Tonia Mishiali’s debut feature film telling the story of an overworked Cypriot housewife who dreams of violent rebellion against her sexist husband as well as ‘The Bullet Within’, a modern and emotional take on the true story of a son having to bury his father just before his wedding day.
Moreover, AACTA award-winner Alex Dimitriades (The Slap) and rising star Caitlin Carmichael (Dwight In Shining Armor) will both be attending the festival. The two stars will present ‘Epiphany’, where they star alongside George Georgiou, on 17 October in Sydney and 19 October in Melbourne. ‘Epiphany’, an ode to Greek culture, tells the story of a troubled teen who befriends an older man, and slowly uncovers her family’s mysterious past.
“We’re thrilled to announce this year’s eclectic lineup of films, showcasing strong Greek voices from across the globe,” says Sydney Festival Chair, Nia Karteris.
“From the inspirational, to the thought-provoking, and the downright hilarious, this year’s program showcases an incredible selection of diverse tales that are guaranteed to resonate with Australian audiences.”
If you haven’t already booked your tickets, have a browse through the list below and immerse yourselves into the magic Greece’s top talent has created. Some favourites are also making a comeback this year due to popular demand.
Perfect Strangers (2016) – Both directed by and starring Greek filmmaker Thodoris Atheridis, ‘Perfect Strangers’ chronicles an ill-fated dinner which turns awry when friends pledge to make all of their texts and calls public. Over the course of the evening secrets are revealed and friendships are damaged.
Love Me Not (2017) – In this dramatic thriller from Venice Silver Lion winner Alexandros Avranas (Miss Violence), a wealthy couple hire a young woman to be their surrogate mother. Welcomed as part of the family, the woman and girl forge a close-knit bond. However, not all is as it seems.
The Favourite (2018) – The critically acclaimed period black-comedy directed by triple Oscar-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos, featuring an Oscar-winning performance for Best Actress by Olivia Colman as Queen Anne.
1968 (2018) – From award-winning Greek filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis and starring acclaimed Greek actor Ieroklis Michaelidis (A Touch of Spice), this docudrama revisits the legendary victory of the emergent Greek basketball team AEK in the European Cup against the seemingly undefeatable Czechoslovakian team – Greece’s first ever win in history.
Meltem (2018) – A young Frenchwoman returns to her holiday home on the island of Lesbos with friends, only to have their plans derailed when they meet a young Syrian refugee separated from her mother.
Pause (2018) – Cypriot director Tonia Mishiali’s striking feature debut is a blackly comedic drama about an overworked and repressed housewife who dreams of violent rebellion against her sexist husband.
Aigaio SOS (2018) – A 2018 earthquake brings to the surface a tiny rocky island in international waters between Greece and Turkey, adding to the tension between the two countries. Life on the island takes a comical series of twists and turns as we witness the antics of a handful of military misfits.
Holy Boom (2018) – In an immigrant district of Athens, lives change dramatically when a mysterious post-box explosion connects four strangers surviving on the edge of legality, who eventually learn to rely on one another despite their generational and racial differences.
The Bachelor 3 (2018) – A uniquely Hellenic take on The Hangover franchise, The Bachelor 3 reunites the cast of the massively popular 2016 original and the 2018 sequel for another night of madness and mayhem.
The Bullet Within (2018) – A 35-year-old son buries his 27-year-old father. This true story takes place the day before his wedding in today’s divided Cyprus. He struggles with the absence of his father, missing since the war — but his father might be closer than he thinks.
In This Land Nobody Knew How To Cry (2018) – Directed by Venice Golden Lion-nominated filmmaker Giorgos Panousopoulos (M’ agapas?), this unconventional comedy follows a research group who discover a lost Aegean island whose inhabitants have established their own carefree money-less lifestyle, and get carried away in a vortex of love and passion for life.
Epiphany (2019) – Starring AACTA award-winner Alex Dimitriades (The Slap, Head On), rising star Caitlin Carmichael (Dwight in Shining Armor) and George Georgiou (Mamma Mia!, Game of Thrones), this love letter to Greek culture tells the story of Luka, a teenage girl that becomes friends with an older man, unaware of how this connection relates to her family’s mysterious past.
Her Job (2019) – Premiering in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery section, this nuanced drama explores how a quiet, modest housewife finds empowerment through employment during the Greek financial crisis. Gaining financial independence amid a ruthless system of exploitation and competition, how will a series of lay-offs at work impact her.
Perimenontas ti Nona (2019) – In this light-hearted comedy from Nikos Zapatinas (In Good Company – Greece’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 74th Academy Awards), best friends Hercules and Alexandros arrive in Naxos to visit Hercules’ sick grandmother. On the island they meet a pair of strangers who uncover the truth about Alexandros’ identity.
Utopia (2019) – A man returns to his country only to find a society where citizens police each other with their mobile phones and there is more freedom inside prison than outside it. Desperate, but unable to escape, the brave act of one woman gives him his freedom.
The Taverna (2019) – Set in Melbourne, this black-comedy from Australian director Alkinos Tsilimidos chronicles a chaotic night in which an impromptu belly dance at a Greek restaurant leads to a series of unexpected and hilarious mishaps.
The Return (2017) – Can theatre become an educational and rehabilitation medium for juvenile prison inmates? In an institution for young offenders, young inmates attempt to overcome the limitations of a “correctional” institution.
Maria by Callas (2018) – The first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek-American opera singer Maria Callas, completely in her own words. Through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and memoirs, the film reveals the essence of one of the greatest artists of all time.
When Tomatoes Met Wagner (2019) – A touching documentary about a community trying to survive austerity and revive commerce in their tiny Greek village, by marketing their organic tomato goods as trendy delicacies.
Dates & Locations:
-Sydney: 8-20 October
-Melbourne: 9-20 October
-Adelaide: 10-13 October
-Brisbane: 15-20 October
-Perth: 20 October-10 November
-Canberra: 29 November-1 December